Help Stop Ships From Killing Endangered Right Whales

300x200_ship_strike_3A Special Message from Fred O'Regan, President and CEO of IFAW:

Did you know that fewer than 350 North Atlantic Right Whales are alive today, making the species one of the most critically endangered on the planet? And the leading cause of death to these whales is also the most easily prevented: collisions with ships.

One year ago, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved a policy requiring ships to slow to 10 knots in whale populated waters, a speed which has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of injury and death to whales. Unfortunately, White House politics and the shipping industry have blocked this policy from becoming law.

Ship strikes accounted for 27 reported deaths of large whales along the Atlantic coastline between 2001-2005, and an estimated 4 Right whales are killed by ships annually. It is critical that the situation improve immediately. Further delays in taking action will increase the likelihood that the population will never recover.

By supporting the Ship Strike Reduction Act of 2008, you can ask Congress to help slow down the ships and significantly reduce risk of injuries and death for the North Atlantic Right Whale.

THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: Please contact your Senator and urge him or her to support the Ship Strike Reduction Act. This bill would compel the Commerce Department to issue a final rule lowering vessel speeds in areas populated by right whales, significantly increasing the species’ chance of survival.

See also, "New Legislation Requires Bush Administration to Stop Procrastinating and Protect Endangered Whales" from ENN.

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